Vacation Recap: Guilty. - Baby Steps in High Heels

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Vacation Recap: Guilty.

A couple of weeks ago, I admitted that I never actually planned to take that dream vacation that Husband so badly wanted. Although I consented to the trip, participated in booking all the details, and talked about what we would do when we arrived … I never actually thought I would go.

Then something crazy happened.

I went.

I boarded the plane. I didn’t ask the pilot to pull back to the gate. I didn’t hop right onto a return flight the second we landed in Jamaica. I didn’t ask to change our original return date to a day or two (or three) earlier.

And even though we never managed to get Skype to work, I was okay.

Even though we were only able to keep up with Baby via (very slow) emails, I was okay.

Even though I was sick the entire time, I was okay.

I was okay.

Actually, I was more than okay. I really and truly enjoyed this vacation. I enjoyed relaxing on a beach, sleeping through the night without a baby monitor attached to my ear, and having adult conversations with Husband. Not once did we discuss diaper contents. And, although there was a close call with a peacock (which are much scarier than they are pretty), we didn’t have any instance where food was spit into our faces or thrown onto the floor.

It was nice to reconnect with each other, and with ourselves. I spent hours in the afternoon reading, napping, and just recuperating. Husband, from the inception of this trip, had said that we were long overdue a few days off. He was able to say out loud, what it took me many months to even consider admitting to myself … that my difficult pregnancy had taken a toll, not only on my body and his sanity, but on our relationship.

And throwing a new baby and the new state of parenthood into the mix literally two seconds after I stopped feeling like death on a stick (note – hyperemisis literally disappears the moment you give birth), well … we were tired. We needed a vacation. I just couldn’t admit it. And, of course, I didn’t want to leave Baby for an entire week.

I know A LOT of moms out there in the same boat. It’s that damn crippling mama-guilt. And, I suppose we wouldn’t be good mothers without it, but I still think it’s highly unfair to have to endure this constant struggle: balancing emotions with logic … the guilt over leaving your child for more than 2 minutes with a reasonable need to recharge your own batteries.

Here’s the thing: Baby was FINE. Actually, she was more than fine. She spent the entire week at the equivalent of baby heaven/summer camp/Disney land. She spent the week being loved and spoiled by her grandparents. And she loved every single second of it. I have a feeling that she had more ice cream in those short 5 days than she’s had in her entire life.

Here’s the other thing: almost two months later, there are NO negative ramifications from us having been gone. When I think back, I realize … I would have felt just as guilty leaving her at day care every morning to go to work (guilt I feel every day anyway). So why not feel that guilt while sitting on a beach for a few days?

I did notice that her hair seemed to have grown while we were away and that she was much more confidently able to stand up when we returned. But, you know what? I’ve notice those things happen during the course of a single normal day too. She’ll look different when I pick her up in the afternoon than she did in the morning. If I was going to miss out on something, wasn’t it better to do it while spending time reconnecting with my husband than typing away on a keyboard at work?

The most important thing, though, was that Husband and I were able to recharge. Ourselves. Our marriage. Our family. Aren’t these the important keys to protecting Baby in the long run anyway?

As with my business trips, leaving is always the hardest part. Getting out the door, in the car, on the plane … always the most difficult aspect. That, and grappling with feeling so dang guilty about leaving. I’m not sure that part will ever go away.

And that’s okay. I can live with the guilt.

But I won’t let it control me.

Not all the time, anyway.

I'm linking up with Shell at Things I Can't Say today for Pour Your Heart Out Wednesday. Happy FIRST Birthday PYHO! It's been a great year ... here's to many more!


  1. I am so glad you went, and had fun! It is amazing how we feel that guilt though isn't it!!

    Have a great day! Oh, and I posted all the things I took on our trip to keep Marlee happy in the car if you want to check it out! :)

  2. Nice post! I think it was defintely a good thing for y'all to get away and reconnect. Since the time Hayden was born, Randy and I have been able to let him stay with his grandparents and have done so (generally for just one or two nights). These moments without him give us a chance to reconnect and breathe. Sometimes I feel guilty for it, but I need it. And you are right - it's okay!

  3. Mine are lots older now with my baby being 11 and I still have the guilt. We went to a hotel year before last for a weekend away and I was horrible at worrying about them. Shoot they even came to the house and slept without an adult here ( memaw lives right behind us so yea there was adults nearby

  4. I'm so happy that you were able to get away and enjoy yourself. I think the first time is the hardest. After that, you realize how important it is!

  5. Prince Charming and I went on our first alone vacation 2 weeks ago. It was the first time I went on a vacation without my kids, and they are 15 and 12. I felt guilty, guilty that I was going away and leaving them home (not alone of course). I felt guilty the entire time, but being able to reconnect with PC was so important for us and our marriage. I feel so much closer to him than I have in years.

  6. First of all, your comment made me laugh out loud, because that is SO what I find in the bottom of my purse every day! lol!

    Also, I'm so glad you got that time away. Me and my hubby made a quick trip to sanfranciso last year and it was soooo great for our marriage too, to just be able to recharge!